New American Standard Bible
And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.
King James Bible
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
Darby Bible Translation
And now ye know that which restrains, that he should be revealed in his own time.
World English Bible
Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.
Young's Literal Translation
and now, what is keeping down ye have known, for his being revealed in his own time,
2 Thessalonians 2:6 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And now ye know what withholdeth - Margin, "holdeth." The reference is, to something that then operated to constrain or hold back the obvious tendency of things, so that the "man of sin" should not at once appear, or so that things should not soon so develop themselves as to give rise to this anti-Christian power. There were causes at work even then, which would ultimately lead to this; but there was also something which checked the tendency of things, so that the revelation or development of the "man of sin" was put off to a future period. The obvious meaning of this would be, that, when the apostle wrote, there was a tendency to what would occur under the great apostasy, and that this would soon develop itself if it were not restrained. If the reference is to the papacy, this would consist in corruptions already existing in the church, having a resemblance to those which afterward existed under that system, or which were the germ of that system.
If there was a tendency toward the concentration of all power in an individual in the church, - if there was an assumption of authority by one class of ministers above another, - if there was a denial of the "parity of the clergy," the tendency would have been to that ultimate assumption of authority which is found in the Romish hierarchy. But conjecture is useless as to what was the precise form in which this tendency then began to develop itself. That the corruptions early began in the church which terminated in the papacy, and which led on directly to it, we know; and that the apostle was able to foresee and predict such a final development, shows that he was under the influence of inspiration. It is not known precisely what is referred to by the phrase "what withholdeth," τὸ κατέχον to katechon. The phrase means properly, something that "holds back," or "restrains."
The word here is in the neuter gender, "What withholdeth." In the following verse it is in the masculine gender, ὁ κατέχων ho katechōn - "he that letteth," or withholdeth; and the reference would seem to be to some agency or state of things under the control of an individual, or of some civil power, that then operated as a restraint on the natural tendency of things. Of this, the apostle says, they had had full information; but we can only conjecture what it was. The restraining power of anything controlled by an individual, or of any government, or the restraining power of God, would meet all that the phrase implies. The most natural interpretation is that which refers it to civil power, meaning that there was something in the form of the existing administration which would prevent this development until that restraint should be removed. The supposition that there was even then a tendency to concentrate all ecclesiastical power at Rome, and that while the civil authority remained there it would not suffer ecclesiastical power to grow to the exorbitant height which it ultimately reached, will meet all that is implied in the language.
That he might be revealed in his time - The man of sin. The meaning is, that there was then a restraint operating which would prevent the development of this anti-Christian power until the proper time; that is, until the state of the world should be such that in the divine arrangements it would be proper to permit it. It was not to be permitted until the gospel should be extensively preached, and had had an opportunity of showing its fair effects on the nations; until it had become so planted and established that even the rise of this anti-Christian power could not effectually uproot it. If the "man of sin" had been permitted to rise at once, the consequence might have been that the new religion would have been crushed, so that it could never have revived again. There was then a providential arrangement by which this growth of wickedness should be checked and restrained, until the new religion should take deep root in the earth, and its perpetuity should be secured. Then the great trial was to be permitted under the "man of sin."
LibraryGrace and Holiness.
"Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."--1 THESS. iii. 11-13. There are few more precious subjects for meditation and imitation than the prayers and intercessions of the great Apostle. …
W. H. Griffith Thomas—The Prayers of St. Paul
Of Antichrist, and his Ruin: and of the Slaying the Witnesses.
The Third Wall.
Perseverance of the Saints Proved.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
2 Thessalonians 2:7
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
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